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Bricolage prize throws out challenge to designers

01 April 2010

The ingenuity of designers is being put to the test in a unique project that links environmental sustainability and the arts.

Resourceful ideas and “out of the square” thinking is required for entries in the Bricolage Design Prize for inspiring objects made from waste.

Now in its third year, Bricolage challenges designers to find an ongoing source of waste and develop it into a durable, marketable product. Entrants are encouraged to use inert industrial waste, such as plastic offcuts, scrap metal, rubber matting and textiles.

Launching the prize, Environment Protection Authority Board member Wayne Petrass said Bricolage aimed to convert waste into something creative and useful.

“It not only reduces the amount of waste going to landfill, it lifts the profile of waste and may even encourage the development of a small business,” Mr Petrass said.

“Past entries illustrate the tremendous scope of possible projects.

“Packaging has been reused in domestic or retail screening, old engine blocks have been transformed into wood stoves, printers’ plates have been made into stationery, wetsuit scraps have been used to stuff furniture and apple pulp and cotton waste have been made into paper products.

“The possibilities are limited only by the imagination and there is great anticipation about what designers will come up with this year.”

Mr Petrass said despite increased rates of recycling, waste to landfill equated to about one tonne for each Tasmanian every year.

“Events like Bricolage can help to reduce that figure and I would encourage creative and clever minds to come up with innovative products and at the same time address the landfill issue,” he said.

There are two components to the Bricolage Design Prize: a $4000 Major Prize and a $500 Bright Ideas Prize, suitable for students.

Both prizes require a prototype. The Major Prize also requires a marketing plan.

Prizes will be awarded for the use of waste materials, longevity, originality and environmental impact of production. They must have potential for on-going production.

Entries close on 31 May 2010. Prizes will be awarded during World Environment Day celebrations in June.

Bricolage is derived from the French word bricoleur and means the “creative and resourceful use of whatever materials happen to be available”.

EPA Board member Wayne Petrass and Bricolage Project Officer Maree Bakker at the launch
Sustainability Section manager Carinda Rue examines industrial waste offered by Cadbury's to Bricolage designers
Anita Houghton from Replas (left), Clinton Luckock from Cadbury's and Kate Owen from Futago attended the launch on behalf of Bricolage's industry sponsors